Behind the lensâ€¦
In an extended interview from the one featured in the matchday programme, Rick reveals that Streatham ice hockey club has been important to him from a young age and there is more than meets the eye, to the man stood on a step at the far end of the rink every home game.
How did you end up taking pictures at hockey games?
AsÂ a kidÂ Â ( 16Â &Â 20` ish ) … I spentÂ a lot ofÂ timeÂ skating at Streatham ice rink , Mondays, Wednesdays, Â Friday, Â Saturday & Sundays , it was aÂ big part of my youth ,Â I was ok atÂ it andÂ didÂ askÂ theÂ greatÂ Red ImrieÂ for aÂ trialÂ but Â the Redskins wereÂ doing really well at the timeÂ and didn`tÂ really need anyÂ newÂ playersÂ & I hadnâ€™t comeÂ upÂ throughÂ theÂ Â youth section & I wasn`tÂ theÂ biggest of kids. We skated at RichmondÂ Â duringÂ Streatham`sÂ refurbishmentÂ Â (lateÂ 70`s early 80`s)Â &Â was awareÂ that when Richmond got demolishedÂ Â for redevelopmentÂ Â with the promise of a newÂ rink …….it never happened . It wasÂ scandalous .
MostÂ Sundays we would watch a game in the upstairs bar Â withÂ ( Red`s wife )Â MarieÂ & hisÂ daughter AlisonÂ Â banging the glassÂ screaming at the Nottingham Panthers. Tony Goldstone, Â Gary Stefan, Robin Andrew Â were all playing for the Redskins. Â Gary CloonanÂ who I knewÂ Â a little tooÂ Â fromÂ bowling Â and MarkÂ Howell, who was in my class at school . Craig Melancon,Â Doug Mcoursky, the legendary PeterÂ QuineyÂ and manyÂ more quality players were icing for Streatham.
IÂ didÂ Â doÂ Â a few Â hockeyÂ training sessionsÂ at the Sobell sports centre in Islington Â but the late nightsÂ were a painÂ withÂ work and I discoveredÂ motorbikesÂ &Â girlsÂ , so it kind ofÂ fizzledÂ outÂ .
When I heard Â aÂ coupleÂ of yearsÂ backÂ that StreathamÂ wasÂ dueÂ to beÂ demolished ,Â I thoughtÂ Â ofÂ RichmondÂ &Â â€œoh no ,Â not againâ€ !Â Â ……Â Â IÂ cameÂ downÂ toÂ theÂ rinkÂ to see whatÂ wasÂ goingÂ on and to see if could help outÂ an any small way,Â maybeÂ take aÂ few pics of the hockey gamesÂ andÂ make a fuss in the local papers , joinÂ anyÂ actionÂ groups Â and generally raiseÂ its profile .
ItÂ wasÂ suchÂ aÂ bigÂ part ofÂ myÂ youthÂ and I got to thinkingÂ whereÂ would ourÂ youngstersÂ of todayÂ hangout , have funÂ , exercise …meet aÂ fewÂ girlsÂ etc. . IÂ thoughtÂ it would have been aÂ Â massiveÂ lossÂ toÂ south London andÂ today`sÂ youngsters .
FortunatelyÂ by the time I got involvedÂ TescoÂ and Lambeth had already agreedÂ theÂ new Streatham hub / leisure centre .
I had only recentlyÂ purchasedÂ a newÂ DSLR camera and alsoÂ saw it as a greatÂ opportunityÂ toÂ familiariseÂ myselfÂ Â Â &Â become fluent with it,Â forÂ messing aroundÂ with the dials `n buttons on the fly.
Itâ€™s easyÂ to getÂ lost in the menu`s and sub menu`sÂ . I alwaysÂ enjoyed theÂ Ice Hockey andÂ Â having an interest in photographyÂ & knowing as a fastÂ indoorÂ sportÂ it was a bit of a challenge, I quicklyÂ realisedÂ the lighting and glassÂ wereÂ limiting factors , Iâ€™veÂ sinceÂ addressedÂ the Â glass issueÂ with some of NikonsÂ finest .
It wasÂ moreÂ importantlyÂ also aÂ greatÂ wayÂ to raiseÂ theÂ profileÂ of the Redskins hockey club andÂ goodÂ forÂ teamÂ Â morale , Iâ€™d like to think theÂ fans , playersÂ andÂ familiesÂ enjoy Â the pics ….especially after a win .Â I guess itâ€™sÂ alwaysÂ nice to get aÂ little buzz to seeÂ ones pictureÂ in the local pressÂ too …for meÂ and the players .
I neverÂ really got into it forÂ financialÂ gain.Â (thatâ€™sÂ not toÂ say I wouldn`t welcome people toÂ purchaseÂ anyÂ shots from the photoboxÂ linkÂ ) ….but to help in any small way toÂ keepÂ the history of the StreathamÂ RedskinsÂ rolling on ….for theÂ next generation , hopefullyÂ I canÂ still be involvedÂ at theÂ nice shiny new rink . MyÂ onlyÂ request is a decent spot to shootÂ fromÂ andÂ some decent lightingÂ .
What is your favourite type of hockey photo ?
I`d preferÂ to be shootingÂ at a lowerÂ height really .. more at ice level , TheÂ area between the two benchesÂ atÂ Brixton was aÂ great spotÂ , butÂ nowÂ theÂ mixing desk is thereÂ & I donâ€™t reallyÂ like shootingÂ through plexiÂ . Â Iâ€™veÂ moved my smallÂ platform to alongsideÂ the away teamsÂ bench ,Â it gainsÂ me someÂ heightÂ so that I can shoot over their heads.
I like to try & captureÂ the action shotsÂ if I can,Â a playerÂ at full flight … arm outstretchedÂ fending off an opposingÂ playerÂ whilstÂ steeringÂ theÂ puckÂ withÂ hisÂ Â other hand ,Â IÂ like to seeÂ the playerÂ Â &Â puckÂ in the same frame if possibleÂ Â andÂ alsoÂ itâ€™sÂ importantÂ to meÂ to tryÂ &Â getÂ the players’ Â faceÂ inÂ focus .Â I think itâ€™s important to see the playersÂ eyesÂ if I can .
AÂ coupleÂ Â ofÂ picturesÂ come to mindÂ quickly … theÂ oneÂ of JerryÂ PavlusÂ Â atÂ Â full stretchÂ in the above mentionedÂ poseÂ Â Â atÂ Â BrixtonÂ andÂ Â Â ThomasÂ ValkoÂ Â atÂ fullÂ tiltÂ atÂ BracknellÂ Â ,Â gives aÂ great impression ofÂ speed .Â Â I thinkÂ maybeÂ they`re on the wallÂ in the locker room .Â Â MrÂ magicÂ JohnstonÂ isÂ Â always veryÂ photogenicÂ Â tooÂ Â .
Do you find a particular aspect of the game hard to capture?
ItÂ is a difficultÂ thingÂ Â to do ,Â maybe that`sÂ why I like the challenge ,Â itâ€™s such a fastÂ moving game ,Â by theÂ time you`veÂ focused on a playerÂ Â he`s passed the puckÂ orÂ had aÂ shot on goal ,Â Â do I try &Â Â captureÂ the playerÂ shooting … orÂ theÂ puckÂ going past the keeper?
With the longishÂ lensÂ that I useÂ itâ€™sÂ almostÂ impossibleÂ to doÂ both .Â Â I think theÂ biggestÂ problem for meÂ Â shootingÂ Â hockey is the lighting , not being allowedÂ to use a flash of course ,Â Â ifÂ it were a littleÂ brighter in the rinkÂ it wouldÂ be massivelyÂ easierÂ forÂ me .
Itâ€™sÂ taken meÂ aÂ littleÂ whileÂ , a lot of pictures ,Â some newÂ Â ( readÂ expensiveÂ )Â kitÂ , & some new software ….Â butÂ recentlyÂ Iâ€™ve changedÂ my techniquesÂ and workflow .
ItÂ takes meÂ longer toÂ uploadÂ Â the images and post processingÂ Â takesÂ longerÂ but I amÂ gettingÂ more control over theÂ finished imagesÂ now .
What else do you take photos of?
I guess IÂ quiteÂ like takingÂ Â wildlifeÂ pics , I was lucky enoughÂ Â toÂ go to VancouverÂ a couple of yearsÂ backÂ and loved taking pics ofÂ Â OrcaÂ Â killer whales , andÂ bald eagles amazing animals ,Â Â butÂ not having them hereÂ Â I makeÂ doÂ withÂ Â some badgersÂ thatÂ visit my gardenÂ fairlyÂ regularly,Â alongÂ withÂ theÂ ring neck parakeetsÂ Â and other small gardenÂ birds ,Â Â motorcycling is myÂ Â otherÂ big passion.
SoÂ there`sÂ Â quite a lot of bike picsÂ inÂ my collectionÂ , Iâ€™d like to doÂ moreÂ bikeÂ racingÂ shots reallyÂ Â butÂ Â gettingÂ passes etc.Â isÂ a painÂ .Â Iâ€™dÂ like toÂ doÂ moreÂ stuffÂ withÂ Â lighting really nextÂ , off cameraÂ flashÂ type stuff . maybe someÂ workÂ with models ,Â Â lighting in photographyÂ is such a big deal ,Â aÂ smallÂ changeÂ even in whereÂ the light is positionedÂ canÂ makeÂ a hugeÂ difference to the finishedÂ shot .
Whatâ€™s the funniest photography related story you can remember ?
I canâ€™t think ofÂ anyÂ massivelyÂ humorous photography relatedÂ storiesÂ , the usualÂ turning up with your cameraÂ andÂ no batteryÂ orÂ memory cardsÂ , getting attackedÂ by aÂ deer at Richmond park when Ziggy the dogÂ disturbed aÂ doeÂ & it’s young ,Â gettingÂ hitÂ in the innerÂ thighÂ by a flying puckÂ at someÂ hockey match ,Â kicking the footballÂ atÂ one ofÂ my sonsÂ SundayÂ gamesÂ ,planting my leftÂ footÂ inÂ the slippery mud and landing flat onÂ my backÂ raised a bit of a cheer ,Â I guessÂ the biggest incidentÂ involved aÂ cup ofÂ coffeeÂ and myÂ Â laptop …… but the least said about thatÂ the betterÂ …..
LastlyÂ I`dÂ like toÂ thank theÂ hockeyÂ clubÂ forÂ allowingÂ me to joinÂ theÂ fold ,Â BarryÂ GrahamÂ DonÂ & Terry andÂ Â all theÂ femaleÂ backroomÂ Â staffÂ etc.Â and all the hard work they do behind the scenesÂ ,Â Â TescoÂ & Lambeth Council Â forÂ buildingÂ a newÂ facility ( includingÂ a temporary venue )Â and alsoÂ aÂ big thankÂ you to theÂ club journoÂ whoÂ doesÂ soÂ muchÂ Â fantasticÂ workÂ for the clubÂ too ……… aÂ DaveÂ Â Â something orÂ otherÂ ……..
To check out Rick’s pictures visit the link below: